02/18/14 — So. Wayne girls upend E. Wayne in OT

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So. Wayne girls upend E. Wayne in OT

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on February 18, 2014 1:48 PM

Zaria Atkins provided a game-high 28 points during Southern Wayne's 56-54 overtime triumph over county and Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference rival Eastern Wayne on Monday evening.

It was the ECC regular-season finale for both teams.

The Saints (10-14 overall, 5-7 ECC) travel to J.H. Rose today for an opening-round game in the conference tournament. The Warriors (10-7, 7-5) play host to county nemesis Charles B. Aycock.

Each game tips off at 6 p.m.

"A great win, our girls played outstanding and came out with a vengeance (tonight), they really did," SW head coach Ricky Lofton said. "Z took over tonight ... made plays when we needed plays.."

Southern Wayne held an eight-point lead with 4 1/2 minutes to play in regulation. But Eastern Wayne, the reigning ECC regular-season and tournament champion, responded with an 11-2 run.

Mierra Reid's bucket off of Tianna Christopher's assist shaved the deficit to 48-46. Christopher, plagued with four fouls, converted a turnover into a traditional three-point play to push the Warriors in front, 49-48.

But Eastern Wayne struggled to close the door and missed five of six free throws within a 60-second stretch. Christopher extended Eastern Wayne's lead to 50-48 with 27.5 seconds to go.

Atkins forced overtime a 16-foot bank shot with 14.4 seconds left in regulation. The 5-foot-6 sophomore guard scored five of the Saints' six points in the extra session.

"The end was tough," EW head coach Phil Gray said. "We had many opportunities that we missed a lot of layups, missed a lot of free throws that cost us the ballgame.

"We'd rather lose now than lose from here on out."